Saturday, June 8, 2013

understanding and finding courage.

Monday will be one month since Liam was stillborn.  I have received all the results of the tests they did, and everything has returned normal.  No one can tell me why Liam died.  There were no Chromosomal issues....the placenta, pathology and everything was normal.  All they could tell me is that he stopped growing around 15 weeks.  We don't know exactly when his heart stopped beating, but at 16.5 weeks we still heard a heart beat.  So Sometime between then and 20 weeks, Liam passed away.  This has been really tough for me.  I am a person who really likes to know the WHY of things.  If something is broke, I mess with it until I figure out what is wrong.  When I was a kid, I took radios apart to figure out how they work.  If I don't know the answer to something, I research, dig, look until I find one.   There is no answer here, and it is very hard for me.

I have been struggling with extreme loneliness. I ask myself....Why?  I know there are many women who have gone through this..... I am not alone.  I have family and friends who love and support me, I have four children who NEVER give me time to be alone, so why do I feel so alone? When I feel this lonely, I withdraw even more....which really doesn't make a whole lot of sense.  However it is almost suffocating.  I feel like I am sinking in quicksand, and I am just so tired of holding on to the branch, that it would almost be easier to let go.  That is how this  loneliness makes me feel.

As  I have been reflecting on the question of why after everyone of my children, that I have lost (miscarriage and stillbirth) do I feel so alone...... I begin to understand.  The word intimacy is what comes to mind.  We can experience intimacy in many ways.  I believe that the deepest form of intimacy I've ever experienced is carrying my children in the womb.  I know even before my missed period, that I am pregnant.  My body begins changing.  My boobs hurt, I'm queasy, I gain 9lbs immediately, I begin changing.   My body knows, even before my conscious mind knows.  I would say the next closest form of intimacy I've experience is the act of help create life with my husband.  I know anyone can have sex, and have the physical intimacy,  but to truly be open to life, with my husband, inside of a marital, committed relationship, that is true intimacy.  As I am processing through this, I begin to understand the loneliness.

So through the intimacy and love of my husband and I, I am given the gift to carry life within me. My body knows this  baby on the cellular level.  There have been many studies done that show, the cells of my children live in me long after their born.  There is some research that even shows these same cells, may heal things on a cellular level without me even knowing about it.  My baby  is truly present in every fiber of my being.  That is intimacy, at it's finest as far as I'm concerned. 

I have four living children, and I remember after Brianna, my oldest was born, I did not know how I could possible have enough love in my heart for another child.  I felt as if I was bursting.  However with every other child that God gifted me with, my love grew, and I was able to love all of them that much.  I remember holding each of my children as newborns, and being overcome with intense love.  Love so deep that I would give EVERYTHING to protect them. I would gladly lay down my life for them in a minute....without hesitation, and for a person who has an extremely high survival instinct....that says a lot..... it is that intimacy,  and true love that overcomes all other instincts.  As time goes on, and my children grow.....the intimacy changes.  It does not go away, but every year, every day as they grow and change, I learn to let go.  I learn to let them try walking, even if it means they will fall and get hurt.  I learn to let them go to friends houses for sleepovers.  I learn to let others care for them, and not have then within my line of site.  I love them, and I would still give my life for them, but I learn to let them become their own person.  I have years to learn how to let go.

When I have lost my babies, It is so sudden, and so shocking to my system.  It is as if a nuclear bomb has gone off inside of me.  One minute I am connected to my child in the most intimate way possible, and the next they are gone.  There is no time to learn to let go, there is no years of preparation, they are gone, and I am left..... alone.  That intimacy, the being connected to another person in a way that you are truly one, is just torn away.  My body is in shock, my emotions are in shock.  My whole world is turned upside down......I now understand the loneliness.

So what do I do? How do I overcome this drowning sensation? How do I learn to move on from this explosion that has racked my very being?  As I reflect on these questions, I realize I need courage.  I need the courage to say to my husband...."I am so lonely, will you hold me"  I need the courage to when people ask how I am doing,  say "I am hurting", and allow them to love me.  I need the courage, to humble myself, and let others love me.  I know this may seem weird to some, but I consider myself a tough person. I am incredibly independent and I have always taken situations that have been thrown at me, and said you will not beat me, you will not define me, I will overcome you. I love to love people, and help people and be there for them when they are hurting, but I am not good at letting others be there for me.  I am scared to be vulnerable, because I am afraid of getting hurt.  When you love as deeply as I do, you hurt deeply as well, and my natural instinct is to protect myself from the pain.

I know this loneliness will not go away anytime soon, I will carry it with me for a very long time, however I need to be courageous enough to not let it define me.  I will keep moving forward, I will keep living, I will keep finding joy, and I will keep loving people.  I won't become a prisoner to fear, and I will find hope in my Savior, Jesus Christ.  Yes I will hurt, and I will always miss my babies, but I will move forward for them.  I know deep in my heart, that none of my little angels in heaven would want me to retreat from the world.  I know this, because I know them.  I may have never seen or held four of them, and I only held Liam for a brief time, but I know them. As intimately as humanly possible..... I know them.

I share all this for many reasons, mainly because It is how I process things myself, but also to hopefully help people understand.   So many think miscarriage and infant loss is an extremely private matter. However, I feel I need the people that love me now more than ever.  When people don't reach out and show they care, it only compounds the loneliness.  I am very lucky, I am surrounded by many people, who have the understanding, of what life in the womb means..... many are not so lucky.  The culture we live in devalues life inside the womb.  It can even make people feel like they do not have the right to grieve or be sad, because "at least it was early" or at least they never held them and knew them"  I can assure you, as a woman, I knew everyone of my children I lost in a way, no one else would understand.  Miscarriage and stillbirth should not just be brushed under a rug.  It is easy for people to say, "well that pregnancy just wasn't viable".....that was my child, who was part of my very being, and now they are gone.  Please don't dismiss the value of my child.

As far as the training and diet, I have been on the diet 10 days and have lost 10 lbs and 12 inches. I have not begun training yet, but hope to very shortly.  I need to get new shoes, as my old ones are trashed.  I hope to do that in the next week.  I will have to make a trip to Fargo, because the stores around here don't have anything worth a hoot, and nothing in my size.  So as I continue this journey, please continue to keep me in your prayers, and if you know anyone who has lost a baby due to miscarriage, please don't hesitate to reach out to them.  God Bless!

1 comment:

  1. Praying and thinking of you Tina! That loneliness to your doctor about it. Don't ignore it. You may need something to help with hormone levels, etc. It's very real what you are feeling. I wish we lived closer - feel so bad for you. Keep writing Tina.